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March 7, 2007 / allyo

Slow down, you move too fast

There’s been a lot of screaming around here lately, especially Jamie’s newfound shriek, a noise that seems like it could melt metal if he only had the Heroes genome. I know it’s partially because he’s two (two and a half) but I also know that some of this is frustration on his part is due to the constant rush rush rush that’s the overarching theme of our days. Rush to eat breakfast, rush to get dressed and out the door, rush to get dinner on the table, rush to get to bed. I left work a little early tonight because I’ve had a lot of early morning and late day meetings lately that have cut my time at home shorter than I’d like, plus we had some friends coming by tonight and I wanted to get dinner done a little earlier than normal. The ride home was more pleasant than it’s been recently and we got all the way in the door before the first frustration – I dared help Jamie with the zipper on his coat. Instead of leaving him to work it out I let the dogs fuss awhile and talked him through it. What really killed me was every time I told him I had to let the dogs out he screamed NO MOMMY! and clung to me. So I decided to slow things down a little for the rest of the night.

Once my girlfriend came by her daughter and Jamie played upstairs while she nursed her newborn and we went through our cloth diaper stash, both for her information and to pass on the things that Jamie had definitely outgrown. It was after Jamie’s bedtime before they left but still I didn’t rush. And what do you know, with a little more patience bedtime went smoothly and I was able to leave the room without any screaming. Last night at this time I had given up and we were lying in bed watching Lost after about an hour of off and on shrieking.

I just now looked at the mess in the kitchen and kicked myself for my busy schedule, knowing that it will probably be Thursday morning before it’s completely clean again. And then I backed up a moment and kicked myself even harder for my messed up priorities. Jamie and I both had a lovely evening. Is a clean kitchen more important than connecting with other people?

No, damn it, no it’s not. There’s more to life than always rushing, always trying to get everything done. A friend of mine always tells me that our kids aren’t going to remember that the house was sometimes messy. What they’ll carry forward from their childhoods is the time that we’ve spent with them. She’s so right and I have to remember that. More playing, less cleaning. I have the rest of my life to clean my house.

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One Comment

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  1. Vienna / Mar 9 2007 1:45 am

    I guess since the boys are close in age, I should expect you to be writing what I am thinking. I was busily doing something- I can’t even remember what because it’s so unimportant- and Jack was begging me to come do something with him and I kept putting him off. Then I realized what an idiot I was and realized that I’d never wish that I had spent more time cooking or cleaning, and I would always wish that I had built just one more tower of blocks if I keep going at the rate I am. As an aside, I’m also having a general identity crisis where I feel like I’m either a bad mother or a bad employee because I can’t be good at both at the same time. But, I won’t clog up your comments with my woes. Just wanted to say that you aren’t alone and we’re leading somewhat parallel lives right now.

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